Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - GR

Velux 5 Oceans clock ticks down to to Charleston race start

by Velux 5 Oceans on 23 Mar 2011
Chris Stanmore-Major, Zbigniew Gutkowski , Derek Hatfield and Brad Van Liew celebrate with champagne in Punta del Este at the culmination of ocean sprint three - Velux 5 Oceans Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
Velux 5 Oceans - With less than a week to go until the 5,700-mile sprint to Charleston in the US, excitement and tension is starting to mount in the Uruguayan port of Punta del Este.

At 1:00 p.m. local time (1600 UTC) on Sunday the Velux 5 Oceans’ four solo skippers will blast out of Punta del Este Bay for the penultimate sprint of the 30,000-mile race. After an incredibly close sprint three, which saw Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski beat Chris Stanmore-Major by just 40 seconds and all four boats finish within 48 hours of each other, the pressure is now on for sprint four.

After spending the past two ocean sprints tackling the ferocious downwind sailing of the Southern Ocean, the skippers will have to adopt a more tactical approach for the lighter, upwind weather conditions which they now face as they head north through the Atlantic Ocean to the east coast port of Charleston in South Carolina.

For Charleston resident Brad Van Liew, overall race leader and winner of all three sprints, the leg holds special meaning. 'I have a lot of incentives to get to Charleston first,' the skipper of Le Pingouin said. 'My kids are there, my family is there and my home is there. The sooner I get there the longer I get to spend at home. Mentally that is a bit of a liability, and it will be important for me to keep my head straight and not get too excited about sailing home.

'This is one of those legs where if tactically you make a bad decision it could mean you end up being left behind. Equally if you call a good move at the head of the fleet you could break away from the others. We’ve got a really competitive fleet so it’s going to be tough. We’re going to be heading back into chess match mode rather than scrum mode!'

After developing keel problems onboard Operon Racing Gutek and his team have carried out a series of repairs since arriving in Punta del Este. Due to the lack of professional boat yards in Uruguay, the team has taken the decision to complete the work once in Charleston. After consulting experts including Operon Racing’s designer and the builders of the keel, it was agreed that the boat is safe to take on the next ocean sprint.

'It’s a long leg so anything can happen. Getting it right with the weather is going to be key,' the Pole said. 'If one of the other skippers makes a mistake I will use it as a good opportunity to pass them.'

Buoyed by his impressive performance in ocean sprint three, Britain’s Chris Stanmore-Major is eyeing up another podium in sprint four. 'Spartan is good for the fight and I’m keen to get back on the water,' he said. 'The target for this leg is to come 40 seconds ahead of Gutek. I’m aware that the best legs for my boat were the Southern Ocean legs but we’ve stripped off as much weight as possible for sprint four. She’s as light as she can be and I have learnt how to sail her in light airs – hopefully that will prove to be a good combination.'

After slipping from second place to fourth in the dying stages of ocean sprint three when his wind instruments died, Canadian Derek Hatfield has vowed to regain the podium positions he won during the first two ocean sprints. Also fixed is the engine oil leak that caused so many problems for the veteran racer in the last sprint.

'The big problem for me was the oil leak in the engine which we sorted in the first week of being here in Punta del Este,' he said. 'It wasn’t a huge fix but was just one that had to be done on shore. It’s all fixed now so I will be back up to full speed, pushing hard.

'I know the waters of the North Atlantic very well which will be a real strength. I was disappointed with my performance in the last leg so now I’m going to step it up again. In the last sprint the wheels fell off for me in the last 48 hours. Gutek and Chris managed to both get away from me. I’m really going to go after this one and notch it back up again to the podium.'

Ocean sprint four starts at 1: 00 pm local time (1600 UTC) on Sunday March website
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Velux 5 Oceans 2014-15 welcomes SolOceans One Design class
Velux 5 Oceans 2014-15 ninth edition will welcome the SolOceans One Design Class alongside the Eco 60 Class Velux 5 Oceans 2014-15 ninth edition will welcome the SolOceans One Design Class alongside the Eco 60 Class. It will allow sailors, both men and women, to race solo around the world on a level playing field. Thanks to its reasonable and controlled budgets, a good number of skippers and sponsors of all nationalities will therefore be able to take each other on using the same weapons.
Posted on 8 Jun 2011
Velux 5 Oceans next edition set for autumn 2014
Velux 5 Oceans rich heritage is set to continue with the next edition of the race in autumn 2014. Velux 5 Oceans rich heritage is set to continue after it was announced the ninth edition of the original solo round the world yacht race will start in autumn 2014
Posted on 3 Jun 2011
Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 concludes
Velux 5 Oceans was an epic battle full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, drama and action Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 was an epic battle full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, drama and action – but like all good things it must come to an end.
Posted on 1 Jun 2011
Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 skipper Derek Hatfield takes third place
Velux 5 Oceans Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield secures an overall third place in the race Velux 5 Oceans Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield secures an overall third place in the race, arriving into La Rochelle, France today. His arrival completes the 2010-11 edition of solo round the world race
Posted on 30 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Gutek second Overall
Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski has finished the Velux 5 Oceans race and takes second place overall. Skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski has finished the race at at 1507 local time (1307 UTC) earning him second place overall in the Velux 5 Oceans.
Posted on 29 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Chris Stanmore-Major second in sprint five
Velux 5 Oceans British ocean racer Chris Stanmore-Major 'CSM' has crossed the finish line of the final sprint Velux 5 Oceans British ocean racer Chris Stanmore-Major 'CSM' has crossed the finish line of the final sprint. The British skipper finishes in second place to secure at least fourth place overall in his first solo circumnavigation of the globe and becomes only the 182nd person to race solo around the world
Posted on 28 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew takes the title
Brad Van Liew has now sailed into the record books by winning every leg of the Velux 5 Oceans race for the second time! Brad Van Liew is the American skipper who has now sailed into the record books by winning every leg of the Velux 5 Oceans race for the second time!
Posted on 28 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans overall victory to Brad Van Liew
Brad Van Liew has crossed the finish line of the final sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race Brad Van Liew has crossed the finish line of the final sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race to secure overall victory.
Posted on 28 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans fleet charges towards La Rochelle finish line
Velux 5 Oceans race fleet is charging towards the La Rochelle finish line to complete their solo circumnavigations Velux 5 Oceans race fleet is charging towards the La Rochelle finish line to complete their solo circumnavigations and the first arrival of the race, that started in the historic French port back in October 2010, is expected today (Friday 27th May).
Posted on 27 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans - Gutek battling keel problems
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski saw drama overnight onboard Operon Racing when one of the keel rams broke. Velux 5 Oceans skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski saw drama overnight onboard Operon Racing when one of the keel rams broke.
Posted on 27 May 2011